Thursday, 17 June 2010

a chorus of disapproval

the retirement age here in France is to be raised from 60 to 62, with predictable howls of outrage from unions and, regrettably, from Martine Aubry, leader of the Parti Socialiste, who has opposed it and referred to the "right" ("droit") to retirement at 60.  What world are they living in?  France has among the highest life expectancy in the world, largely because of the unrivalled excellence of its health service.  To give examples: I am 56 and in good health but am "suivi" (looked after) by an ophthalmologist, a podiatrist and a gynaecologist as well as having a GP and receiving mammogram and bowel cancer testing free as part of a national programme.  My mother, in the UK, is nearly 82 and has never consulted an ophthalmologist. You can get your teeth whitened here on your "carte vitale" (health card which entitles you to treatment) and there are no waiting lists for anything, except sometimes dentistry, depending on where you live.  I had varicose veins when I got here in 2007, not life-threatening at all, but they have been removed to give me a better quality of life, especially in the summer.  People live a long time here and perhaps more importantly they live in better health than in other European countries.  France also has among the lowest participation in the workforce by over-55s of anywhere in Europe.  You do the math, as the Americans say.  I expect and hope not to retire until I am at least 70.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I know u have a thing about raising the retirement age so that people can carry on working in interesting,stimulating professions well into their late sixties...but spare a thought for those engaged in manual trades...I am a 56 year old chef,above average fitness for my age,but the long,late hours grind u down leaving little or no energy with which to pursue one's own life...chefing is for the young..we older people start to slow down,find the Gordon Ramsay's of this world merely irritating etc...nobody,in the real world is going to employ a 65 year old chef...

jane said...

indeed, any kind of kitchen work is highly physically ldemanding and propbably younger people are better suited to it - but no-one has to stick at the job they have always done, and I would employ a chef (or anyone else) at a lot more than 65 if they could do the job and wanted to do it.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, nobody has to employ someone either.

Sad fact, but true.
Not always a case of won't work - but can't get jobs.

Anonymous said...

With pension funds going bust, many of us will not be able to afford to retire.